At the Living with Wildlife meeting held at the Hopland Research Extention Center in northern California on Aug 31, I met with livestock producers and wildlife managers to discuss the use of non-lethal methods of reducing carnivore attacks on livestock. Mendocino County's public radio station reported on the event and referenced our science on the effectiveness of interventions (my interview begins at 1:40).
than the 6-year minimum trophy age recommended for sustainable hunting and penalises operators that hunt ‘underage’ lions (<4 years). Analysis of 138 lion hunts and 87 lion trophies from 2003-2015 revealed that after enforcement of age restrictions in 2006, hunters shifted harvests to suitably aged lions (>6 years), from 25% of offtakes in 2004 to 100% by 2014.
Successful implementation of this management system is due to: 1) committed, consistent enforcement by management authorities, 2) genuine involvement of all stakeholders from the start, 3) annual auditing by an independent third party, 4) the reliable, transparent, straight-forward aging process, and 5) the simple, pragmatic points system for incentivising hunter compliance.
Read the full article (free download) in Journal of Applied Ecology.
I've been part of an exciting collaboration with colleagues at Yale and UC Berkeley to create a new framework for predicting how predators and prey will interact across space based on characteristics like hunting mode and space use. Our new paper in Ecology (free download here) discusses how the concept of the habitat domain can be used to consider spatial context when predicting spatial interactions.
This conceptual theory can be used to predict how different spatial relations of predators and prey could lead to different emergent multiple predator-prey interactions such as whether predator consumptive or non-consumptive effects should dominate, and whether intraguild predation, predator interference or predator complementarity are expected. We elaborate on how modern technology and statistical approaches for animal movement analysis could be used to test the conceptual theory, using experimental or quasi-experimental analyses at landscape scales.
Our hope is that this new framework will encourage more research to empirically test whether such characteristics can be used to anticipate how predators and prey will interact, to inform management and conservation.
Just learned that I'll be presenting a workshop in July at the ICCB 2017 on 'Predation Risk Modeling as a Decision-Making Tool for Reducing Human-Wildlife Conflict'. Join me in Cartagena, Columbia!
My Yale colleagues and I just published a review entitled "Effectiveness of Contemporary Techniques for Reducing Livestock Depredations by Large Carnivores" in the Wildlife Society Bulletin. The article compares the effectiveness of different methods for preventing carnivores from attacking livestock.
Read the press releases from Yale and UC Berkeley!
The final chapter of my PhD is out in PLOS ONE! (Download)
The article, entitled "Human Perceptions Mirror Realities of Carnivore Attack Risk for Livestock: Implications for Mitigating Human-Carnivore Conflict", compares the realities of where tigers and leopards attack livestock to how people perceive attacks on the landscape.
Spoiler alert: people are really good at predicting where carnivores might attack livestock! But then why do attacks still occur? Read the article to find out!
Read Yale's press release.
In an effort to make lion trophy hunting in Africa more sustainable, I've been working with Panthera and collaborators to advance the science of aging lions.
We are proud to say that our outreach website on aging lions just launched: AgingTheAfricanLion.org! Test yourself to measure your lion aging ability and read Panthera's blog article to learn more.
You can also read more about our science on lion aging published in Biological Conservation.